Red Bull SlopeSoakers: Not Your Grandfather's Pond Skim

A wild—and wet—time was had by all at Red Bull’s SlopeSoakers event, a Copper Mountain springtime ritual.
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A wild—and wet—time was had by all at Red Bull’s SlopeSoakers event, a Copper Mountain springtime ritual.

As someone who has never launched herself across a frigid body of water on a pair of snow skis, I was completely blown away by the Red Bull SlopeSoakers event that took place over the weekend of April 15-16 at Copper Mountain, Colorado.

Essentially a pond-skim on steroids, SlopeSoakers features a variety of different lines from which competitors can choose, all including some sort of water component plus a rail to slide. It's your typically springtime pond skim multiplied by a factor of 100. That's SlopeSoakers. 

But what really makes the event unique is that the courses are designed by engineering students from the University of Colorado-Boulder. For the past six months, engineering students received hands-on experience in snow park design, then conceived courses to be considered for the event. It came down to five teams whose designs were judged based on completion, feasibility, creativity, and cohesiveness.

Ultimately the design by team Purple Cobras, comprised of Drew Dahm, Grant Kamin, Joe Maguire, and Cameron Meyer, won top honors. The team members are all juniors at the University of Colorado-Boulder studying civil engineering.

“This is kind of the dream come true," says Maguire, "we’re engineers, we love skiing, we get to be here with Red Bull and Copper." 

The team spent months making revisions to the course, and the final design included some unique features—such as a boat and rail combination and a swing.  

“Finding a balance was such a hard thing to do,” says Kamin. “We wanted to make it as cool and crazy as possible, because we knew all the other teams were filled with really incredible skiers as well, and we knew they were going to be pushing the limits too. So we had to push the limits, but we also had to make it realistic, and that balance has been a really fun process.” 

Competitors were also stoked to be competing on the course. 

“This is probably the coolest pond-skimming course I’ve ever experienced," says competitor Hayden Wright. "Usually it’s just a straight pond, no jumps or features, so this one’s dope.” 

The day was filled with plenty of stoke, lots of smiles, and enough vodka-Red Bulls for a small army. Will I participate next year? A solid maybe. Will I be there for all the fun? Definitely.